Thursday, October 15, 2015


I've been trying to find the words to describe the amazingness that was yesterday. After many hours contemplating this, I have come to the conclusion that there simply is no way to adequately describe how truly fabulous our adventure was. Truthfully, none of this adventure was planned. We simply got in the car, went to the Wayside Inn Historic District and enjoyed exploring an area that's practically in our own backyard. One that we've been to many times before yet felt like we were seeing for the first time yesterday.  
This adventure came as a result of the early New England/Farming block (which is part of the Waldorf grade three world) that has been our focus lately. Many of the My First Little House books that we've been reading have inspired our adventures and activities lately. We love the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, of course, but these (shorter) books really do lend themselves beautifully to our adventures each day. 
In addition to the My First Little House books, we've also been reading this lovely book about early New England. We are pretty sure that many of the drawings were inspired by Old Sturbridge Village as the pictures look so much like the village we love so much. We had read the pages about the grist mill and the general store and it was then that we decided we needed to go see these things up close. Our first stop was the Wayside Country Store to buy some corn meal and oats and flour that was milled at the Grist Mill. Once we had purchased our provisions we headed on to the mill, unsure of whether or not we'd be able to go inside yesterday. 
Not only was yesterday an absolutely glorious day, but we were thrilled to discover it was also a day where we could go inside and see the mill. The only way this could have been any more fabulous would have been if we could have seen the mill in action while we were there. 

After we explored the mill we wandered down a path that lead to this big rock. Gosh, October was in all its glory yesterday! 
 We decided to walk a little more and headed up to the Mary-Martha Chapel. I have always loved this sweet little church on the hill, and have found myself wishing (many times) that David and I had gotten married there all those years ago. 
 We then walked over to the little red schoolhouse. In all the years we've lived here we have never visited it before our adventure yesterday. I did know that it was the schoolhouse where "Mary Had a Little Lamb" had taken place and where the poem was later written, but until yesterday we had never been inside. 

We were very surprised to discover the schoolhouse was open yesterday since it's typically only open on weekends! What a treat! One of the docents was there catching up on some paper work and she said that it was funny how many people had stopped by yesterday. Grace and Emma, however, were the youngest visitors that day (ah, the joys of being a homeschool family)! 
The docent went on to tell us the history of the schoolhouse. It was originally in Sterling Massachusetts and yes it really was the schoolhouse where Mary and her lamb went that fateful day. Mr. Henry Ford had this schoolhouse moved to the Wayside Inn property in 1927 and it continued to function as a one room schoolhouse for grades one through four until 1951! The girls said that while they adore homeschooling they wouldn't mind going to a one room schoolhouse if it meant they could be together through all the grades. We all loved hearing how much the one room schoolhouses were so much like homeschooling, and we talked about that as we made our way back to the car.

As we journeyed home (and throughout the rest of the day) the three of us just kept remarking about how truly fabulous that adventure was. It was easily one of our most favorite days ever (and we have a lot of favorite days)! I'm pretty sure that it would not have been nearly as amazing if I had planned this all out. Being able to bring so much to life for them, to get them out and doing things and making connections, to embracing those teachable moments whenever they come (and however they come) really has made this journey we are on so very rich and incredibly magical. xo

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